This article first appeared on SHESAID and has been republished with permission.
Have you ever been on a date and wondered if the awkward person sitting across from you was the same confident person you’d been texting all week?
I have, several times. And it completely sucks when the person you’ve been chatting to is the polar opposite to what you imagined. How can someone be so witty with their words in a text message, then so devastatingly dull in person? It makes me wonder if their roommate crafted their punchy messages and I should be dating her, instead.
One date in particular, I decided to call a guy I’d been exchanging flirty messages with, to firm up the details around where and when we’d meet for drinks. We were both adults, so a phone call should have been no big deal, right? Except, on the other end of the line was a fumbling mess of a guy who made me wonder if I’d called the right number. I reasoned with myself that perhaps he’d been caught off guard by my phone call, as he’d seemed so confident and clever via his texts just moments earlier. Yet when we finally met in person, he was exactly as boring a conversationalist as he’d been on the phone — awkward, shy, and free of the banter we had in our texts.
Needless to say, the dismal date killed my vibe for the rest of the evening, as I felt I’d wasted what could’ve been a fun night of bar-hopping on a man who was completely wrong for me. As I wished my date well and watched him disappear into the night, praying never to cross paths with him again, I wondered if I should’ve heeded the red flags in our painful pre-meet phone call and saved myself those three hours I’d never get back.
It was then I decided my time is precious and I wouldn’t commit to going out with anyone who couldn’t pick up the phone and chat with me prior to prove their worthiness of it. Here’s why I now ensure a phone call precedes every first date, and you should too…
1. Because he could have zero personality.
It’s normal to fall in love with the words you’re reading, but how often do we see the movie only to discover it sucks in comparison to the book? The same goes for boys who send poetic texts yet suck when it comes to actually in-person talking. Anyone can fake having a personality by inserting a few emojis and exciting adjectives, but no amount of wink faces can make up for a boring personality.
2. It saves your time.
If you’re a dateaholic like me, you need a way of screening men before you meet them so your life doesn’t devolve into a series of Tinder horror stories and deal-breaking sexual encounters. And although it IS fun, dating shouldn’t consume every aspect of your life, so you can’t see your friends or have quality solo time. Your spare time should be reserved for people who have, at least on some level, proven they’re worthy of it.
3. You get to skip all that effort put into your appearance.
If you can get away with your first real communication with a potential new guy not requiring you to shave your legs, brush your hair or put on clothes that aren’t comfortable, why wouldn’t you do that?! The prep for a RL first date is hard work, so it’s better to ensure those hours spent meticulously doing your nails and touching up your faux tan weren’t spent in vain.
4. It takes the pressure off the date.
The first minute or so of meeting someone can be really nerve-wracking, but if there’s a genuine connection between you, chances are you’ll lose track of time with all the flirting, laughing and mutual teasing that’ll be going on. Enter, the pre-date phone call; your opportunity to establish whether those nerves will quickly be replaced with flying sparks, or awkwardness overload. A pre-date call also means the ice has already been broken, so the awks factor of the first date is gone, and it’s easier to get an inkling of whether he’s just DTF or after something more serious.
5. It’s a way to avoid dating burnout.
Constantly putting yourself out there in a sea of fuckboys is tiring. Rather than seeing dating as a fun activity, we begin to roll our eyes viewing it as one of those annoying adult chores we know we really ‘should’ do at some point. If you want to put the fun back into dating, a pre-date phone call screening session can dramatically cut down on your chances of wasting an evening fending off sleazy comments from a douche, allowing you to save your precious energy for the men than matter.
6. You can work out if they’re a flake.
An unfortunate part of dating is encountering men who are no-shows or just total flakes likely to drain hours, if not weeks or months, from your life you’ll never be able to recoup. If Mr Potential can’t even schedule a time for a 10-minute phone call, what’s the likelihood he’s going to show up to your date? Consider that crisis averted, all thanks to a simple phone call.
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